Massive on the Sales Block

This is pretty big news: Microsoft appears to be looking to buy videogame ad company Massive (about whom I’ve blogged rather frequently). This definitely plays into my earlier thoughts on where MS is headed (reLink). Here’s basically the whole news blurb being carried on Yahoo/Reuters (Link) which will probably disappear in a few weeks:

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq:MSFT) plans to pay $200 million to $400 million for Massive Inc., a privately held company that places ads in videogames, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

The deal to buy the two-year-old start-up highlights the increasing importance of advertising in nontraditional media, the report said. It noted Massive’s clients include Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO), Honda Motor Co. (7267.T) and other advertisers that are boosting spending on ads in videogames.

I bet this goes closer to the high end of the price range. Of course no one is talking, but based on Dell’s acquisition of Alienware, we know that denial doesn’t matter anyway.

Lots of interesting news in the acquistions corner of the world. Xfire to MTV (remember Xfire? – reLink). Now Massive to MS. Maybe. Who’s next and what potential impact will these moves have? Fun stuff to consider.

{Update: via The Daily Graze I found a better post regarding this story on Joystiq (Link). That post refers back to an earlier one suggesting the possibility of an ad-supported XBox 360 which, to be honest, I recalled reading but didn’t consider a revelation. Everything is going the way of advertising … for now. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not if, but who.}

{Update 2: more details from the originating Wall Street Journal article over on the Brands in Games blog – Link}